A small crystal rolled past the peach. The mysterious orb struck a rock and floated into the air turning into a swirling bubble slowly increasing in size. Small shapes appeared before turning into an extensive hall where people laughed and swirled to silent music. It was an all to erie effect but the girl didn't see the transformation of the crystal. She was already deep in some spell.
There was no pain and no real memory when she again opened her eyes. Her long hair which had been pulled away from her face was now pinned back just enough to see her face before it cascaded down her shoulders in lush curls. Small baby breath flowers adorned her pins, hiding them. Magic itself held back her hair and inriched the terresses.
She cast a glance over her shoulder at the crowd all deck out in mysterious to grotesque costumes. Gowns mummered to each other as their benefactors danced. Every shape, size, and color paraded on the bodies of women as well as on the gentlemen, if you were to call them that. They were gentlemen she sensed but could not place her finger on what seemed to be astray with using that term. Eleborate masks sneered at her lustfully or snided her appearance with slanted eyes and upturned noses. Haughty lips ,curled in mock smiles, danced acrossed her vision before vanishing in the antique yellow lighting of the room.
On the opposite end of the ballroom music swelled, first no more than a small tinkle of a musicbox before growing into piano,drums, and guitar. The drums and 80's sounding guitar sounded out of place and the piano wasn't really a piano but a keyboard senthesizing the music. It all seemed so real, yet so dream like. She kept trying to blink away the misty look of the low lights gleaming off gold and silver costumes. A twisted goblinish mask with two ivory horns jetted out to stare directly at her with brazen yellow eyes. Green hair jutted out of a small ponytail behind the boy's head.
Umi stepped forward but found herself pushed back by dancers a few feet. Instead of going forward she was progressing backwards. It defeated the purpose of placing one foot in front of the other. If she had guessed right that man had once been the enemy. The one who attacked Fuu when Cephiro started merging with Earth.>
She had only blinked for a moment. A moment and he was gone. She should have been at home spending the night playing card games with her parents or practicing her fencing but here she was at some dance. Not a school function but.... she couldn't remember exactly what it was. No wonder she believed she saw Ferio, she didn't even know where to place herself. It had been over a year since that incident. It had become little more than a dream she and her friends had shared one night, but then it was a reality. Tokyo still hadn't recovered most of the large buildings destroyed in the battle. She sighed and pressed through the throng.
Oddly, she felt no weight on her face. No mask. The people there didn't seem to mind that one of their guests was with out her mask. Perhaps it had served a reason. She couldnt remember excepting an invitation here or coming. Umi swiviled around looking for anyone she knew. At first the masks had been plastic or carved from wood and ivory with glinting gold and silver attachments but the further she emersed in the crowd the masks became frightening. Horrid rendisions of mythical beasts. A jaberwoocky, melicious dragons, displacer beasts, trolls and horrid evil looking hobgoblins all on the faces of these people. Someone touched her elbow gently pushing her foreward.
The tropical bird mask smiled and the man behind it bowed before her. There was no mistaking it this time. That was Eagle, the man who wished for total destruction. Wasn't he dead?
He lifted one white gloved hand and blew her a kiss. Tauntingly he reached out bekconging her as he moved backwards. He was teasing her! Umi tried again in vain to move forward towards the quickly fading man but her efforts were only awarded with some laughter as she too moved backward. The whole process was frustrating. If only she knew what was going on. The old fashion candle chandeler spilled light down into the mass and in that moment part of the crowd moved away. They moved just enough for an unmasked man to be seen watching her from a distance.
His eyes never left her face as she turned around. Umi was looking every where for some way out. A door from which she could leave the halloween like ball and return to the safety of her home. Umi took no notice to the strange man who watched her. She had yet to spot his peircing blue eyes. He leaned back against a pillar and placed his black gloved fingertips to his lips. She had changed. Yes, that was true. No longer a true child for her eyes spoke differently. 'Her eyes,' he mused silently, 'have seen life given and taken away in the same moment.' He almost felt guilty but then he had not been the cause of the problems. The Cephirean law was pretty clear on the subject. Fae's should not fall in love with mortals. Princess Emeruade had tested the law and failed. The mortal high Priest had sacrificed himself because of the laws.
Clef removed his hand from his lips and pushed himself away from the pillar. He himself was a fae, not a mortal. Love had been a unique ability of a handful of faes. Infact the law in place had been more for the mortal's protection than for the Fae's. Mortal's placed their whole lives in hopes of love, in happy dreams which faded in the light of life. Fantasy, if you wished to call it but there was something so iressitable with the word "love". He had been very surprized when he learned of Princess Emeruade and High Priest Zagato's love. He always assumed that if any Fae transgressed the law between lovers it would not be Zagato. He had always feared for Emeruade because she had the heart of the main pillar. One who had to love everything, but then she focused on only one love. A sad love. He turned his head as the phantoms of the past danced. Umi. His eyes softened. He himself, in the breifest of times, began to transgress the law. That was why he had to come, he had to go back to her world and see her one last time, however he had devised a way of momentarily bringing her to his world. Right now she was in Cephiro and here he would propose to her to stay if she so please but he would have to do so within the time span of her sleep. Just one chance and then... Perhaps, he smiled sadly, she would except his offer.
Clef stepped forward a few paces as the dancers parted for him. Umi would try to step away from him but she unknowingly was being draw towards him. A secret game of cat and mouse. He stopped walking and pushed a few periwinkle strands of hair out of his face. His eyes never left her. He had choosen right to dress her in a white silk dress. The gold ribbons accented the dress and her blue hair. Clef braced himself for a moment. Soon he would give it all away on vague hopes. He would tell her every thing and if she understood... well that was a mystery on how she would react to the upcoming dance.
"Umi.." He started but didn't speak it out loud. He wished she would turn to look at him but she was still looking for a way out of the 'dreamscape'. Those eyes... so grown up. He wished he could place the innocence back into them. It had been his world that had taken it from her and life that had moved most of the fantasy out of her heart. His throat tightened as she turned his
About two yards ahead of her another being without a mask chanced to look into her eyes as she turned to face him. She held herself back from running to him in fear that she would only be pushed backwards and away from him. It was another face she had seen in the dream that was reality. Clef. Umi took a step forward and this time made progress instead of falling back. He looked away before bringing his gaze back to her own.
Clef appeared the same as he had looked then except his hands, which normally held his staff, were gloved and the staff itself was missing. Breath taking eyes, blue in one light and aqua in another, bore into her own. As if searching for a deeper being inside her shell. Looking for a glimpse of her soul, but was she just fantasizing again? It was cruel to dream things like this. It never did pay off to dream so unrealisticly, or had it? She had started assuming this as a nightmare with dancing phantoms of the past. And she had had many dreams about him before. He was something out of her reach. Her foot touched ground again. Little aware that she moved ,before thinking, towards him.
A dancer spun infront of her eyes blocking him from view. So like Ferio, when she could see the area he had been in, vanished. Her heart fluttered for a minute and then disapointment kicked in. A dream once more. A cruel dream with sick twisted faces parading as masks. The song drifting from all around her again swelled. Ferio's face smiled at her from her right before he replaced his mask and danced away from her. Dancing with a short haird blonde with a bird mask. she took a second glance. It almost seemed to be Fuu dancing with the scarab masked Ferio.
"There's such a sad love deep in your eyes,"
And it started like that. Out of no where the music had crept up to her. Playing, as if, only for her ears. A tenor voice drifted lazily over the people who hushed for him. That voice. Where was it coming from? It echoed to her right and advance to her right from the left side. The ceiling reverted it down from the great hight but the floor bounced the deeper tones of the voice up. It was every where but no where at once. Anything was possible, after all, she was living prof of that. A Magic Knight. Suddenly the voice whispered softly into her ear.
"a kind of pale jewel open and close within your eyes."
There he was, singing, but acting if he was watching a show which didn't amuse or bore him. Dancers brushed against his shoulders but none dare offer their hands to him for a dance. He was singing to her. There was no mistaking the way he looked her over even when his face seemed monotone. A sad look washed over his features when he realized that she still believed this was a dream.
"I'll place the sky within your eyes."
She blushed. He did place a smile in her eyes. So there was a mutual feeling there if only he could flat out say he loved her but his actions. He turned away from her and walked to a table where he picked up a peach. The laws. Everything is governed by laws but does that make everything right? No. Sometimes laws stopped the flow of progress keeping one in the past. Could it be that Cephiro was in the past? Would it be doomed to repeat the same mistake with a new pillar and the fae, spirits that held the world of Cephiro together. He himself kept a small portion of Cephiro intact. Perhaps they were all fools.
"There's such a fooled heart beating so fast"
Clef was up to something. The dancing masks no longer hindered her movement, she realized, when she moved towards him. If she steped away from him they would push her towards him. He wanted her near him she supposed. But why the song and dance? Couldn't he talk to her straight forward. If he really wanted to say something he wouldn't speak or sing in code. It was nice, and romantic. A serenade. She quickly put a hand up to her red cheeks. He was personally serenading her.
'Get ahold of yourself Umi. This is only a dream,' she mentally told herself. But she couldn't keep her pulse from going up or her breath from quickening. He had said the impossible but a fool heart would promise things which could not possibly be brought to truth. Her smile turned. It couldn't possibly become a reality. She was so foolish to think other wise. Yes, very foolish and it was so imature. She was a grown woman and the need for small fantasies were in the past.
"in search of new dreams"
Clef tilted his head. Umi looked for him yet she always searched in the wrong directions first. However, it started to dawn on her that the dancers were pushing her towards him. He cleared his throat and relaxed letting two unattached dancers put their arms on his shoulders. A Cephirean ball. He smiled pleasantly when Umi spotted him and then become serious. 'No Umi... this isn't a dream. You are in Cephiro, you are beautiful.... and ... and I love you.' Damn the laws.
The girls hanging on Clef... she knew them. Emeruade! Alcyione! A beautiful blue mask engulfed Emeruade's face. It was Emeruade all the same. Alcyione leaned her head against Clef's shoulder rubbing the black cat's mask against him. A twinge of jealousy ran through her system but died when Clef turned away from them.
"a love that will last within your heart."
Love, there was that word. She had blushed. He had turned away. Indirectly communicating both their feelings. However, pride or a stubborness prevented him from dropping the act. The 'fantasy' of this dance. With a wave of his hand a mask appeared with a ceresent moon sparkling silver on top and a glitering fabric handle. White owl feathers stroked his chin when he brought it up to his face. Concealing him when she looked at him. Only the mask, a half mask cut off just below the nose to expose the mouth, gave him away. His lips moved, and his throat produced the delicious sound of his voice.
Umi bit her lip at the moment. 'Did I just think ... did I just... think his lips the sound... delicious?'
"I'll place the moon within your heart."
He would place the moon back into her heart. Her innoccence. He would give her anything in his power even her most treasured fantasy. He clutched the mask tightly in his grip. 'I love you.' His eyes closed. The mask clattered to the floor without a sound. Just three little words and life would be well again. He had dreamed of that moment. She had dreamed of that moment though either barely knew the other. But the laws prevented him, a Fae, from anouncing it. Instead he had to parade around with parlor tricks. Flash a metaphor and hope that she grasped his meaning. If it slipped from his mouth then he would be damned. he would lose everything. Funny, the law had been to protect the mortals but it ultimately destroyed the Fae. Once those three letter words were spoken he would never be able to see her again. The thought was painful.
"As the pain sweeps through,"
Umi looked at him. His eyes closed in some reflection. This had to be the weirdest dream she had ever had. However, she doubted at times if this was a dream. Everything she touched... she actually touched. 'Pain? Im not in pain Clef. Why do you think Im in pain?' Umi rushed at him, a need to comfort, to touch him burning in her chest.
"makes no sense for you,"
No it didn't make sense to her. She wasn't in pain but... Clef had to be. There was something he wanted to do perhaps say that he was holding back. She had felt it. Seen it in his eyes. Clef talked about his own woes, the feelings he had and that she consciously shared. Why didn't he take her hands and tell her truthfully that he loved her? It was kind of rediculious. They hardly knew each other but she felt it. She loved him. Life had been dull lately. Nothing could compare to what had enchanted her life. After it all passed, well, moving didn't help her heart any. Life became dull and a longing in her heart kept her from seeing guys. Her family put it off on the move and she believed it but not now. Umi knew what was in her heart the moment she set eyes on Clef. Or when he grew weak after a spell. A protectiveness for him and deeper feelings. She thought the last time she truely talked to him that she saw a glimmer of love there. Growing in his heart but it was to quick to judge anything. They had, after all, just meet a few hours before hand.
"every thrill has gone,"
And life was supposed to go on without the other. It was all pre planned if you believed in that way of thinking but he didn't. One shaped their lives from what they started with. Only a few things were planned out. He opened his eyes and walked towards her. A path opened up as he walked.
"wasn't too much fun at all."
Umi, startled by actually seeing him move, stopped moving herself. Her legs glued her to the spot and she froze all motion. If it had truely been a dream then she wouldn't have been able to regain movement in her legs. It would have been like one of those dreams in which danger headed directly towards you but you couldnt get away from it. At the precise moment that doom would swoop down and get you your body jerked and eyes opened. However, she didn't wake like that. She didn't wake from the 'dream' at all. Instead Clef stood before her offering his hand to her.
"But I'll be there for you,"
She believed him. He would be there for her even if it was only in her dreams. When she closed her eyes full of tears he would be there. Her whole life he would be there watching her and loving her even from afar. It was as certain as the setting sun but the possibilities that he would stay with her in her world... was marvelious.
Clef quickly silenced her with a single finger to her lips. His hands reached down and took her own in his.
"as the world falls down"
Her eyes widened. The weight of his hands on her, the warmth. Everything was so real. So life like. Tears glistened in her eyes. It wasn't a cruel dream but a sadness lingered in both of them. Some force was at work that neither could deny. Neither could truely ever fight against it. Man was mortal and Fae.... had a long life to look forward to. Even when the mortal died he would still be living, thinking, and dreaming of her. It was all so... so done in vain. Clef pursed his lips and looked into her eyes. Both of their fantasies wouldn't come true. It was clear to him. No matter how much he dared to love this mortal woman they would only be doomed to repeat the fate of Zagato and Emeruade.
"falling / (as the world falls) / falling / (down)"
He pulled her more firmly to him. It was destined, just one thing was so destined and he would have to let her go. She would come to realize that she had to let go of him soon too... but the love in her heart would never go away. A mortal's love would last as long as they and if not written down would soon fade as a shooting star. So brief but brighter than the moon. He would tell her. Disobey just that one law. He had fallen in love and be damned the acient laws forbidding him to speak it to her. One could not help love, how they felt. It happened that way. And with his own voice, no theatre tricks, he sang it soft. A mumer into the air.
"falling in love"
They still had their dreams. he couldn't place her innoccence back in her eyes but perhaps he could lesson the pain just a little. He twirled her around. Like a clock stricking mid morning hours he felt her conscious grow more aware. She would again believe that it was a dream. That she had not, in the midst of sleep, been swept away to a far off and magical land.
He could give her dreams every night but this was the last time to feel her embrace and to smell her sweet scent. It was the only night he could call her lover without the trivialities. In heart and mind he was hers for his eternity. He quickly pulled her into him replacing the space between them with his warmth. Her head rested against her chest and his chin rested on her head. For now they would dream and he would encourage her dreams, her fantasies. It was the only thing he could give her which would make her happy.
"I'll paint your mornings of gold, I'll spin you valentine evenings,"
All dreams. He brushed her hair down and lightly, as soft as a humming bird's wings, gave her a kiss on her crown.
"though we're strangers 'til now, we're choosing a path between the stars."
They choose to dream. Reality was perhaps to harsh to go back to just then. Yet morning would soon dawn on Earth and he would be forced to return her. She wouldn't stay with him. Her world was to important to her. He should have guessed that in the battle. Why else would she be choosen, destined, to be one of the legendary Magic Knights. It was a cruel and sad fate denied of love but then she would fulfill her duty to her planet where Emeruade had choosen to refuse her duty. He smiled softly. Just this last dance and then goodbye. They would not part as strangers as they had meet as strangers.
"I'll lay love between the stars."
He had given her one of her last wishes. To see him again. She had given him the opertunity to tell her what was in his heart. But the final wishes.... neither could grant. It was totally and utterly out of his hands. 'Umi... tell me that you love me too...' He lifted her chin with his fingers and gazed fixedly into her eyes. So much pain and sadness but... 'We're both strangely happy right now.'
"As the pain sweeps through,
makes no sense for you,
ev'ry thrill has gone,
wasn't too much fun at all."
"Clef... I...." She looked back at him and a tear fall. How was it possible to be so sad and so happy at the same time. "Stay with me. Stay with me on Earth. Theres so many things I could show you...."
But he shook his head and looked away at a clock in the distance. Almost time. He felt an urgency to do something. Any thing. One last moment, one last caress. He put his hand to her cheek. "No Umi. I have to stay in Cephiro and you have to stay on Earth ......"
"But I'll be there for you,
as the world falls down falling / (as the world falls) / falling / (down) / falling
as the world falls down
falling / falling / falling
falling in love
as the world falls down
falling / falling / falling
falling in love
as the world falls down"
He smiled sadly and stopped the dance as the music began to fade. He had to let go, now, before he couldn't. The pain in his heart was so great as water tears filled up his eyes. The first in his life time. He had told her in all the words he could everything. She had to live her life out on Earth, and live it well or he couldn't fogive himeself.
"I... I love you Clef." Umi reached out for him but he turned away from her. Dancer's pushed her away from him, taking her back to her world as the music faded out. His voice grew less and less clear.
"makes no sense at all
makes no sense to fall
as the world falls down
falling / falling
falling in love
as the world falls down
falling / falling
falling in love / falling in love / falling in love"
She opened her eyes and brushed potato chip crumbs off her blouse. The blue screen of the t.v. signaled the tape had cometo a stop. Slowly she got up feeling the pain in her neck from the sleep. Umi could have sworn that the dream, so vivid in all details, had been real. 'Clef..' she pondered sadly as a rosey blush tainted her white cheeks. Her hand swept over the coffee table and snatched up the vcr remote. Yes, the movie, she thought regrettibly. She had fallen asleep not long after the girl had made a strange friend, some beast. The movie had been refered to her by one of the workers at the movie rentle place. An old 80's American film of fantasy. Umi yawned and hit the eject button. The thing stuck out with the English title "Labyrinth" peeking up at her from the vcr flap. Her wrist flipped the remote back on the couch while she stretched, heading to her room upstairs.
A rustle in the tree outside her room went unnoticed as Umi brushed her long hair infront of her mirror. Her thoughts on her seperated friends and the foes turned friend just a short year ago. He smiled. It was a bittersweet smile full of regret. Umi would go on with her short mortal life as he lived his.
Clef shifted his weight on the treebranch. He had truely fallen in love with her, a mortal girl he barely knew. Even transgressed laws. Posessed the forbidden ability of love in the mortal heart. One of his gloved hands touched the region where his heart was before falling back to his lap.
"I will always love you... and I'll always be there waiting for you in your dreams. Even it it isn't me... I'll be there when you think life is to hard and that you cant go on..."
One last glance at her and then he was gone. Soaring through the sky on his griffin. Only one thing remained to remind her that it had not been a dream. His crown which held up his purple strands of hair lay on her bed. A present to drive away the sadness as he had taken her headband to drive away his sadness.